(2:45 p.m. EDT) -- The April 12 Panama Canal sailing of Norwegian Star has been canceled due to a technical issue with the ship's ABB-manufactured azipod propulsion system, according to a statement from Norwegian Cruise Line. The ship was bound to depart from Los Angeles this Sunday for a 15-day cruise through the Panama Canal.
Cruise Critic first learned of the cancellation through a thread on the Cruise Critic forums. Norwegian Star will be out of service from April 12 through April 26 to repair the azipod and will resume scheduled sailings beginning on April 27 from Miami.
All passengers booked on the sailing will receive a full refund of their cruise along with a 50 percent future cruise credit. "Norwegian Cruise Line sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience caused by this itinerary change and would like to thank our guests for their understanding," the line said in its statement.
Nonetheless, the last-minute cancellation resulted in many disappointed vacationers. “They are not offering airline and hotel refunds, just the change fee associated with it. Since my airfare was booked months ago, the difference in airfare is quite steep,” noted Dayub. “It will cost me $2000 more in airfare and scrambling at the last minute to find another cruise on such short notice. Not happy.”
Noted jvsnana, who had a similar situation happen to her: “If you had any OBC (onboard credit) or promotions for this cruise make sure you get them "protected" so you will be able to apply them to the next cruise you book. Make sure you get it in writing via an email.
"ALWAYS take note of the person you talked to and what they promise you so you have documentation. Also, while you are going to be very frustrated, be as nice as you can under the circumstances.”
Norwegian Star was recently renovated during a dry dock in Portland, Oregon.
--Brittany Chrusciel, Associate Editor